Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Attends Session of U.S. Tax Court

LITC students at U.S. Tax Court

Representatives from the Cal Poly Low Income Taxpayer Clinic attended the Trial Calendar Call for the U.S. Tax Court at the federal courthouse in Fresno on Monday, Oct. 22.

Cal Poly accounting students, under the direct supervision of attorney and LITC Executive Director Lisa Sperow, assisted unrepresented tax court petitioners with their pending cases. The Cal Poly LITC is unique as the only LITC within a business college in the nation permitted to participate in the U.S. Tax Court’s Calendar Call Program.

Cal Poly’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, which formed in 2010, is one of a dozen IRS-supported clinics in California. LITCs ensure the fairness and integrity of the tax system by educating low-income taxpayers about their rights and responsibilities and providing pro bono representation to taxpayers in tax disputes with the IRS.

Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. Recently, the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service awarded the LITC a $100,000 grant, the maximum amount possible. These funds will help ensure that the LITC can continue providing exemplary community service and valuable Learn by Doing student experiences.

Sperow has earned recognition for her expertise and leadership as well. This fall, she was invited to speak on multiple American Bar Association panels, specifically addressing the 2017 Tax Act’s effects on low income families and self-employed workers. And as a thank you for her team’s participation in the Calendar Call program, she attended a Washington D.C. dinner event with tax professionals from around the country and the new IRS Commissioner, Charles Rettig.

The story of the LITC and its student accountants goes beyond mere dollars and tax sense; it is providing new hope to taxpayers whose futures once seemed bleak and uncertain, while inspiring a new generation of students embarking on accounting careers.

For more information on the Cal Poly LITC, visit https://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/.